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East Midlands marketer welcomes Business Gateway campaign on Neurodiversity

6 July 2022

A Loughborough-based Marketing Manager has lent his support to a campaign to highlight the benefits of employing people who are neurodivergent. Barry Aldridge, who is himself neurodivergent, works at Flotec Industrial where he uses his condition to create new ideas, bring a different perspective and energise his workplace.

Barry has shared his story with the Business Gateway as part of our campaign to highlight the fact that people with a neurodivergent condition such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism can be valuable assets to a business, particularly when challenging times mean different types of thinking are needed.

Barry explained: “From an early age I could tell that my classmates considered me to be different. I always had a sense of humour and my comedy routines always made people laugh. But I could also draw and design to a very high standard and that’s something that I still use in my marketing role today.

“When I was younger, I absorbed myself in reading and very often felt far too shy to join in conversations. It felt confusing. I enjoyed being the centre of attention but was also enclosed and introverted. When reflecting on my school life, I don’t think that conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or dyspraxia were at all recognised.

“In adult life, I have found coping mechanisms and know which social situations I enjoy, and which ones are best to avoid. I have had to overcome negative comments in my career, but on the flipside, a colleague once told me that I am special, unique and have a wonderful mind. At Flotec I’m appreciated for my energy, ideas and creativity.

Chloe Smith, Purchasing Executive for Flotec Industrial Limited added: “Barry’s neurodivergent way of thinking brings really creative ideas to life which not only promotes our company and its products but humanises us as a team where Barry communicates our stories and successes to the world. One great example is the recent #sharetocare campaign where Barry invited employees to raise awareness about charities and good causes which are important to them and provided a marketing platform and voice for us to raise awareness to an external audience.”

Rachel York, Manager of the Business Gateway, concluded: “This year we have a special focus on neurodivergence and disability in terms of the benefits they can have on Leicestershire’s business community when it starts to understand more about these issues.

“The so-called ‘purple pound’ (the spending power of the UK’s disabled community) is worth £249 billion each year so we want to help businesses get a share of that. Neurodivergent people bring ideas, creativity and a different perspective which is what we need now more than ever. Our own team includes a person with ADHD and we’re encouraging other businesses to appreciate neurodivergent people for the benefits they can bring.”

Read Barry’s full blog 

If you are a neurodivergent person working in Leicestershire and would like to share your story, please contact the Business Gateway team: